Monday, December 6, 2010

LAX: Have No Car Will Travel On Shuttle

Dispatcher for Super Shuttle
The use of shared ride vans have been my mode of transportation to/from LAX. Using them is simple. When arriving at LAX, find the shared ride vans sign curbside and a dispatcher from either Super Shuttle or Prime Time Shuttle (the two authorized shuttle operators at LAX). They will ask where you are heading and call the van heading to that area.

Now don't be surprise to find after reaching the last terminal the driver does not leave the airport. It is customary for the driver to stop at each terminal twice. The idea is to try to fill the van. After this you're on your way. Keep in mind someone will be dropped off first and someone will be dropped of last. Prepare yourself if you're the latter and don't complain to the driver; that's one drawback about a shared ride. But you have the right to be comfortable and safe. Ask for the air conditioning to be turned on and feel free to use your seat belts. Most standard vans will seat up to nine passengers.

Be sure to keep an eye on your luggage and that the driver places your bags onto the van. Don't forget to tip your driver as the fare does not include any gratuity. Fares to/from the airport to a hotel start at $16 for Super Shuttle and $15 for Prime Time. Check online or with the dispatcher for fares to a business or home addresses.

For the return trip, the suggestion is to book at least a day prior to departure for a return ride to the airport. You will be given a pick-up time and you should be waiting in the lobby of your hotel by that time. It's really bad if you're the last pick up and eight passengers are kept waiting for you.

On this December visit to L.A., I used Prime Time after arriving because it had the only dispatcher at the American Airlines terminal. For the return I used Super Shuttle since I couldn't find the a telephone number that worked for Prime Time. I guess it would become mandatory to book online in the future.

Visit supershuttle.com or primetime.com for more information. If you prefer, private rides or rides for large groups can also be booked.

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